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Digital Archive International History Declassified

February 28, 1986

RELATIONS BETWEEN THE MINISTRY FOR STATE SECURITY OF THE GDR WITH INTELLIGENCE ORGANS OF THE REPUBLIC OF IRAQ

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    Summary of attempts by the Iraq Ministry of the Interior to establish formal relations with the Ministry for State Security.
    "Relations between the Ministry for State Security of the GDR with Intelligence Organs of the Republic of Iraq," February 28, 1986, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, BStU, ZA, HA X 104, pp. 49-51. Translated for CWIHP by Bernd Schaefer. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/122923
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Berlin, 27 February 1986

Strictly Confidential

Relations between the MfS of the GDR with Intelligence Organs of the Republic of Iraq

Since 1969 counterintelligence organs of the Republic of Iraq have repeatedly expressed their desire for a formal cooperation with the MfS and the Ministry of Interior of the GDR. Those requests mostly related to issues like training, delivery of technology, and exchanges of experiences. They focused on issues like combating crimes against the state, counterintelligence, and the use of technology, including counter signal intelligence and signal intelligence.

The MfS of the GDR neither rejected a formal collaboration nor did it on the other hand launch any initiatives. Thus contacts with Iraqi counterintelligence were exclusively limited to exchanges of delegations.

Up to now altogether 4 delegations from the Iraqi Ministry of the Interior have visited the GDR and filed requests for cooperation with both the MfS and the GDR Ministry of the Interior.

In October 1969 Comrade Minister Mielke received the then Iraqi Minister of the Interior, Sali Mahdy al-Amash, for a meeting. A visit by a MfS study delegation under Comrade Lieutenant General Neiber to Iraq in January 1970 did not result in any further practical steps of collaboration. In January 1972 a delegation of MfS specialists performed a counterintelligence technology check of the former U.S. embassy building [in Baghdad], which the Iraqi Foreign Ministry intended to use on its own. We turned over to the Iraqi side the results of this security check. When a delegation headed by then Iraqi Interior Minister Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri visited the GDR in August 1975, Comrade [MfS] Lieutenant General Scholz had a meeting with Taher Ahmed Amin, Deputy Director for general security in the Iraqi Ministry of the Interior and Deputy of the Security Office of the Iraqi Revolutionary Command Council. On 29 August 1975 Comrade Lieutenant General Scholz saw Saadoun Shaker, the then head of the Security Office of the Revolutionary Command Council, when the latter traveled on transit through the GDR. As a result of these talks, a MfS delegation (Operative-Technological Services and Main Department III) traveled to Iraq in December 1975. Thereafter no further activities were pursued.

In 1979, a study delegation of the Iraqi Ministry of Interior visited the GDR. Back then the Deputy Head of general security in the Ministry of Interior, Ghanem Hussein Daud, raised, in contrast to similar visits in the past, quite detailed requests for training in areas like various fields of counterintelligence, security for personalities, investigative work, public relations and the purchase of technical equipment in the GDR. We indicated to provide an answer via the GDR Embassy in Baghdad after a review of capacities available. The Iraqi organs did not do a follow-up.

At the beginning of 1982, renewed requests for collaboration in intelligence matters were made in general to the GDR Ambassador in Baghdad and the head of a GDR government delegation. We did not react to this. There were indications that identical requests were issued to a couple of other socialist states as well.

In February 1985 a delegation from the Iraqi Ministry of Interior led by Minister Saadoun Shaker came to the GDR and had talks with [GDR Minister of Interior] Comrade Army General [Friedrich] Dickel. A meeting between Saadoun Shaker and Comrade Army General Mielke for which we had prepared for did not materialize.

Looking at the development of relations with Iraqi counterintelligence to date we can arrive at these conclusions: The Iraqi apparatus is not satisfied with options we have offered so far. Also, their apparatus does not launch initiatives to implement practical steps. On the other hand they want to demonstrate their will to cooperate and to maintain relations through renewed efforts in this regard time and again. Inquiries and instructions by the leadership of the Baath Party might be triggering these intermittent activities.